HomePremier LeagueVAR in Premier League: PGMOL must 'uphold integrity' after Wolves controversy –...

VAR in Premier League: PGMOL must ‘uphold integrity’ after Wolves controversy – chairman Shi

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The Premier League and officiating body the PGMOL must “uphold the integrity of the competition” by “addressing concerns” after Wolves were controversially denied a goal against West Ham on Saturday, the club’s chairman, Jeff Shi, has said.

Max Kilman’s 99th-minute equaliser for the hosts was disallowed after Tawanda Chirewa was deemed to be in an offside position and blocking Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from making a save, leading Wolves manager Gary O’Neil to describe referee Tony Harrington’s verdict as one of the worst he had ever seen.

Harrington was sent to the pitchside monitor by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) before making his decision, which could prove pivotal in the race for European qualification in the top flight.

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“When a goal is scored and not one person inside the stadium questions the validity of that goal, including both sets of players, coaches, fans and even the match officials themselves, it’s time to question whether someone remote disallowing that goal is really what football wants or needs,” said Shi.

“It is our sincere hope that the Premier League and PGMOL recognise the importance of addressing these concerns to uphold the integrity of the competition and demonstrate why the Premier League is regarded as the best in the world.”

Wolves v West Ham VAR ‘horrendous’

While curious VAR decisions are a regular feature of Premier League matchdays, O’Neil said his West Ham counterpart, David Moyes, and Fabianski agreed that the decision was “scandalous”.

“Horrendous,” O’Neil told Sky Sports immediately after the 2-1 defeat for his team. “I don’t understand it.

“He’s a fully qualified, professional referee stood in front of a screen – he should be able to make his own decision.

“I’ve had so many messages in the 20 minutes we’ve been off. Everybody thinks it’s a terrible decision.”

Kilman added: “I’ve never seen anything like it. We’re all gutted and we deserved something from that game.”

West Ham currently occupy the seventh position which is likely to be the final European qualification place in the Premier League, but a draw would have left Wolves three points behind them with a game in hand and a matching goal difference.

James Ward-Prowse scored the 84th-minute winner from a corner, completing a comeback which began with Lucas Paqueta’s 73rd-minute penalty, replying to Pablo Sarabia’s opener from the spot in the 33rd minute.

Wolves have taken one point from their last three matches and return to action at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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